If it makes you happy…

23 Feb

While I have not garnered many new writing techniques from my creative writing class, I have undergone a tremendous amount of self-discovery.  In this discovery of self, I have learned to find my “voice” as a writer (which I talked about last week on Atypical Musings).  According to my writing instructor, a writer’s voice is “how you write when you don’t have time to be elegant”.

As such, it is apparent that I’m trying to make Backseat Writer something it was never intended to be—mundane.  I stated earlier this year in my New Year’s resolutions for the site that I wanted to be more personal and maybe a little more opinionated.  I realize that I am trying to make Backseat Writer some big publication that can compete with the likes of high level independent media websites.  Not only is this goal unattainable (I am only one person), but it’s also not fun.  I always tell myself that I will give up Backseat Writer when it stops being fun.

Well, it’s not fun anymore.  So either I have to make it fun or give it up.  Since I’m not giving up the site, I realized that my desire to be more honest in reviews comes from my writing voice.  My voice is one of raw honesty and sensitivity.  Therefore, instead of trying to elicit big name interviews, do a ton of book and CD reviews just to compete in the market, I’m going to do what I set out to do—be a voice in the world, and not just any voice, my voice.

There are things I’ve been afraid to post here.  I wonder, “How would that look professionally? Can I post a silly video?  Or talk about my struggles with mental illness?  How does that affect the whole of Backseat Writer?”  It’s become painfully obvious to me that an interview with an artist or a book review or anything I else I write comes out of the same voice, the same person, the same struggling beautiful mess.  Why should I separate these voices?  Perhaps it is my battles with depression that make my interviews better or book reviews deeper.  I am not just half a person, but a whole person.

Therefore, I am going to attack Backseat Writer as a whole person using my full voice.  Maybe it isn’t as professional, maybe it won’t land me that dream writing gig, but at least I’ll have fun.  And that’s all I truly set out to do.

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No Responses to “If it makes you happy…”

  1. Richard February 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM #

    Therefore, I am going to attack Backseat Writer as a whole person using my full voice. Maybe it isn’t as professional, maybe it won’t land me that dream writing gig, but at least I’ll have fun. And that’s all I truly set out to do.

    Amen and high fives!

  2. Carol Wong February 23, 2011 at 5:51 PM #

    I am looking forward to meeting the rest of Amy. There are a lot of us out there who struggle with depression. By talking about it, we just grow closer.

    Hugs,
    Carol Wong

  3. mattsmithis February 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM #

    You mentioned a “dream writing gig.” Is that even possible to have a dream writing gig if you are not writing as yourself? I’ve only read this post so far, but I know that who you are is who God wanted to show off. I clicked your link on scl, today’s post. Jon said he was constantly checking Google analytics for his site stats. Jon created his site and wanted people to like it. Well, God created us similarly. It’s obviously more than that, but I think you get the point. Who we are and the way we see the world is exactly how God intended. Great post.

  4. Amy February 23, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

    Richard, high five right back at you! I know you like that raw honesty stuff. 🙂

    Carol, Oh, there will be more talk of depression and anxiety and other things. 🙂

    Matt, thank you so much for visiting me and for your encouraging words! You’re right. I must write as I am–it’s the truest voice I have. And the dream writing gig? Well, I could make money doing a lot of freelance magazine gigs, but that never satisfies me. I’m more of a gritty girl. 🙂

  5. Sonia M. February 24, 2011 at 12:01 AM #

    I think what makes any writer interesting is his or her own unique voice. I know I am not a huge fan of the overly slick fella. I like my writers as I like my friends…oridinary and cool and a little weird. I find myself struggling sometimes to just be me when I write. I know it’s sometimes easy to start worrying about how something is going to be percieved. That can be important when looking to edit or market a piece, but it has to come second to the initial process…and the genuine voice should never be drowned about by those other considerations. In my opinion, anyway.

  6. ShariCakes February 24, 2011 at 7:10 AM #

    You must, must, must love your job – and the work you do here on BSW is your job so love it and do what makes you happy!

  7. Randy Hollingsworth February 24, 2011 at 2:24 PM #

    Very well stated! I agree with ShariCakes you have to love it. It is obvious you love writing so write with your voice, we are listening.

  8. Cindy February 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

    “Applause, Applause, Applause”
    Kudos to your courage and raw honesty – your views are totally welcome and looked forward to!

  9. Amy February 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM #

    Wow! Where did you all come from? 🙂

    Thank you all for your comments. I want to check out all your websites, too!

  10. whenpenmeetspaper March 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM #

    As a fellow writer, I agree that every writer has his/her own distinct voice. That makes Neil Gaiman’s writing from Terry Pratchet’s for instance.

    As a copywriter, I remembered a former boss of mine saying that intuition is important because it helps in the area of reductionism – knowing what word(s) is necessary or not.

    • Amy March 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM #

      Copywriting is such a difficult task for me. I ALWAYS skip over errors, especially in my own work.

      Anyway, I really like Neil Gaiman’s STARDUST. Have you read that?

  11. whenpenmeetspaper March 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM #

    yeah I have. It’s great. Am halfway through NEVERWHERE, and THE ESSENTIAL C.S LEWIS – it’s a whole compilation.

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